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New SIDS information

891 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  firewoman
A friend posted this in another forward and I wanted to share it with all of you.
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Saw this on the news last night too. It's interesting... I wondered about stress and serotonin levels related to CIO, because they mentioned that the low serotonin levels were in some correlation to the babies feeling stressed.
They actually said three things had to happen to cause SIDS and one was an external stressor. They gave the example of a blanket covering the baby's face as an external stressor or the baby sleeping on its stomach. The study didn't state that stress or the external stressor caused the lower serotonin levels, but that in conjuction with the already low serotonin levels contributes to SIDS death. The theory is that something is inherently wrong inside the babies who died of SIDS medulla that caused their serotonin levels to be low.
Ah I see, so already low serotonin levels in certain babies plus an external stressor. Still, very interesting information.
We talked about this in my parent-baby class this morning (which is professionally facilitated) and the facilitator mentioned the link between serotonin and stress. I don't know why they go on about back to sleep in the article because putting baby on his/her back doesn't seem to have any correlation with serotonin levels. Anyhow, she talked about how being responsible and picking up your crying baby helped serotonin stay up, whereas CIO would lower it.
The reason they make a case for back to sleep is because in a baby who has low serotonin levels, sleeping on the stomach can cause an at risk baby to inhale higher levels of carbon dioxide than an infant with normal levels. The article states: "When the infant is breathing in the face-down position, he or she may not get enough oxygen. An infant with a normal brainstem would turn his or her head and wake up in response. But a baby with an intrinsic abnormality is unable to respond to the stressor." The low serotonin levels seem to be related to a chronic abnomality in the medulla, not something that comes and goes from something like CIO. I'm certainly not saying that CIO is good for babies or that it doesn't lower serotonin levels but the study is talking about babies that INTRINSICALLY have low serotonin. Even if you were the most attached parent your baby could have low serotonin levels because of a brain abnormality.

The reason this study is exciting is that it is a big step in identifying babies that are at risk (those with this brain abnormality) and making sure those babies slept on their backs free of anything that could obstruct their breathing sounds logical to me.
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